Centuries ago, the Lukas Brothers invented the PRIDIAN INFINITUM, an item that supposedly could allow the wearer to manipulate the flow of time.
Upon it's demonstration, it worked so well that it was feared it would be used for evil intent and was ordered to be destroyed. This is what remains today- although attempts to repair it have been made, none have been successful.
Tick tick tick tick tick click
VII. "They came again," Said Jack.
Mark had not seen his brother in years. Not since their summons, not since the Parting of Ways. Not since they disappeared into the night, all those ages ago. But after 20 years apart, Jack's first words to him were not the ones he'd wanted to hear.
"What do you mean they?" Mark stepped into the cabin out of the cold. Unlike Mark, Jack, the youngest Lukas brother, had sought the cold solitude of the Hills as his sanctuary. It had been a three day trek from Mark's home in the lowland city. And that was only because he knew where he was going. He'd have got lost without the message. That surprise message.
I. They'd been bright young lads back then, lanky scraps with an amazing discovery. The Pridian Infinitum:. It sounded classy. Everything sounds classy in Latin.
VIII. "What do you mean they?" He repeated.
Jack shook his head slowly. "Same as last time. The same ones who told us to destroy it."
Mark sucked in his breath.
"Did you give it to them?"
Jack snorted into the fur about his collar. "Who do you think I am?"
II. The lights! They shone brighter than the promise of their career ahead! And the noise of the viewers! The naïve public, they knew nothing!
Those boys! The mechanics and the clockmakers whispered. What a chance they have! What a thing they have discovered! The Annual TimeKeepers Congress was abuzz. Time no longer had a limit, with this one device, one could travel to where ever they wanted. Imagine what could be done!
IX. "Do they know you have it?"
"Mark, please. Every one was told it was destroyed. It was announced in the paper, it in the Official TimeKeeper's Index. Lukas, Mark and John- Creation dismantled after dangerous demonstration." The sarcasm didn't go un-noted by the elder Lukas son. Jack gave a bitter smile and folded his hands into his sleeves.
"But the Government still know?"
"Mark, you ask too much. I was never the cleverest brother, y'know."
"What did they ask?" Mark sat opposite his brother, and for the first time, Jack met his eyes. His looked so old now, he who was once the baby of the Lukas family was now like an old man! It was surprising: a life sleeping by the soul of time could hardly be good for a man.
"If we'd consider rebuilding it."
III. The Government had heard of it.
You must get rid of it. It must be destroyed.
They were crushed. A life time of work, to be taken apart. No matter how much they protested, no matter how they pleaded and-Oh heavens!- childishly cried, they could not keep it. Their magnum opus: gone forever.
X. Mark scoffed. "They know that's impossible! They already tried!"
"You don't know how desperate they are." Jack's old eyes flashed with an emotion Mark hardly ever saw in him.
"They were the one's who wanted it gone!"
"People change their minds very quickly when they need something. And now they know both half still survive, they'll stop at nothing to have it. Mark, can't we give them it?"
IV. Pridian Infinitum: To yesterday indefinitely. That dream- that reality- was no more. It would never be again.
Or so they were told.
XI. Something was wrong. Mark put a hand on Jack shoulder, and the franticly fast way that Jack returned the gesture made him guess.
"Where are they?"
Jack was going pale. "Outside. They've been watching for you. They're going to take us if we say no."
Mark inwardly cursed. "They really will do anything, won't they?"
All Jack could do was nod.
V. Oh yes, that demonstration. They should have kept it to themselves, never let the outside world taint its delicate balance. But there was no hiding it. Jack's appearance in the gallery, the writing on the walls that had not been there before- definite proof that the young Messers Lukas had discovered the secret of cracking time's flow. Had not Master John gone back in time, had he not written those words on the wall, hadn't we all seen it?
Yes, they saw it. No hiding in the slightest.
XII. "So." Mark licked his lips nervously. "Is it time?"
Jack had never looked as regretful as he did now, as he readied the tools he'd kept for this very task. "It is time."
VI. They hadn't destroyed it like they were told. Not quite. The split it in half. Mark took the casing on a string and buried himself in the shady corners of bars and the seedy recesses of clubs in the city, living like sewer rat to escape the clawing hands of greedy men. Jack took the heart, the beating life and soul, and fled to the hills, nurturing its life in the cold and dark until the time came.
The Time where they had to decide.
Ire debemus an manere?